The Power of Pentecost – Acts 2:1-13


The Jewish people had four annual feasts. There was the feast of Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of first fruits, and the feast of Pentecost. The feast of Pentecost came fifty days after the feast of first fruits. Each of these feasts were prophetic in nature. Throughout the years before Christ came, the Jews would celebrate these feasts in anticipation of the coming Messiah. Each one of these feasts have been fulfilled. Passover was fulfilled in the death of Christ. The feast of unleavened bread was fulfilled in the sinlessness of Christ and the fact that through Him we can be made clean. The feast of first fruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ. The feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost also marks the fulfillment of the birth of the church. J. Vernon McGee wrote: “On Pentecost there was to be a meal offering to the Lord, which was to be presented in two loaves of fine flour baked with leaven. This was to depict the beginning or origin of the church. It spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit in the very particular ministry of calling a people out of this world to form the body of Christ, which is the church. Five minuets before the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost there was no church. Five minutes after the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, there was a church.”[1]

As we study this passage concerning the day of Pentecost, there are some very interesting and valuable truths that we discover.

It was a powerful event (v. 2) The scripture describes the coming of the Holy Spirit as a very powerful event. There was a very loud sound as a mighty wind. There was no actual wind felt here, however, it sounded like a wind. This sound filled all the house where they were sitting. In other words, the sound was very loud, it filled the whole room and probably even outside of the room. I believe that the sound was similar to that of a tornado or hurricane. It was loud. It was sudden. It was powerful. It certainly got the attention of those who were there. There has never been an event before or after that was like what happened on that particular day. It was powerful beyond description.

It was a mysterious event (v. 3-13) Those that were in the upper room probably left at this point and went to the temple. This was in obedience to what Jesus told them to do in Acts 1:8. They have received power from the Holy Spirit and now they are on their way to the temple to preach Jesus to the Jewish people who came to worship on the day of Pentecost. Remember, the 12 apostles were to be witnesses of the resurrection of Christ to the twelve tribes of Israel. As they go to preach there was a great power that flowed through them. Verse three describes it as tongues like as fire. Luke here is speaking metaphorically. Those who received the Holy Spirit were filled with power that was visible in the sudden boldness they had to preach. There was a change that took place. They were not the same people anymore. Something has happened to them and it was noticeable to all who observed. As they spoke, they began to speak in other tongues. This is not what many people think of as speaking in tongues. They spoke in real languages that were known in that day. There were many Jews gathered in Jerusalem that day from all over the world. As the apostles preached, everyone heard the message in their own language. This was certainly a miracle. It is important to note that this was a supernatural event for the purpose of the Gospel going forth around the world. This event was very mysterious and brought many questions to the minds of those who were there.

It was a theological event. This day of Pentecost and the birth of the church also had great theological implications. There are five basic ministries of the Holy Spirit. It is important that we make note of each of these.

  1. Regenerated.

The Holy Spirit does the work of regeneration in the one that believes on the Lord Jesus. John 3:5 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” You cannot be saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that gives you new life. Regeneration occurs the moment that you believe on the Lord Jesus for your salvation.

  1. Indwelled.

Romans 8:9 says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” The very moment that one places his or her faith in the Lord Jesus, they are regenerated and indwelled by the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit does not dwell in you, then you are not a true child of God. The evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you is the fruits of the Spirit as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23. When you are truly born again and indwelled by the Spirit, it will change your attitude and your behavior. If there is not a progressive change taking place in your life, it is a good sign that you may not be indwelled by the Spirit and thus truly saved.

  1. Sealed.

Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” Notice the progression here. You cannot be saved unless you first hear the Gospel. This shows the importance of preaching the Gospel. When someone believes on the Lord Jesus, they are then sealed by the Holy Spirit. Not before and not a long time after. Immediately, when one by faith believes in Jesus, after that someone shared with them the Gospel, then they are regenerated, indwelled, and sealed. This sealing of the Holy Spirit is what gives us eternal security. Our eternal security is not based on whether or not we persevere. Our eternal security is based on the Holy Spirit who seals us.

  1. Baptized.

The baptism of the Spirit was something Jesus promised in Acts 1:5. The baptism of the Spirit places us in the body of Christ. On the day of Pentecost we see the very first baptism of the Spirit which marks the beginning of the church. Ever since that day every believer in Jesus is placed into the body of Christ by the baptism of the Spirit. This baptism of the Spirit takes place the very moment we believe on the Lord Jesus. Water baptism is symbolic of Spirit baptism. It demonstrates the fact that a new believer is now a part of the body of Christ, the church.

  1. Filled.

In verse four of Acts two, it mentions that they were all filled with the Spirit. Notice that they did not start speaking until they were filled with the Spirit. It is important to understand that the indwelling of the Spirit has to do with our salvation, whereas, the filling of the Spirit has to do with our service. You cannot adequately serve the Lord unless you are filled with the Spirit. This is why we should pray everyday that we would live a Spirit filled life. This occurs as we confess our sins and as we are in the Word. When the filling of the Holy Spirit took place on the day of Pentecost, it indicated that the other four ministries of the Holy Spirit had already happened. This, therefore, provides the proof that the church was birthed on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.

You may be wondering how you can have the Holy Spirit in you. At what point does the Holy Spirit regenerate and indwell you? How can you receive the Holy Spirit? The answer is found in one simple word: Believe. You must make a choice. You must decide. Will you believe on the Lord Jesus?

[1] McGee, J, Vernon. Thru the Bible. Acts.

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